Googleholic for August 29, 2008
Welcome to Googleholic, your sometimes-weekly fix of everything Google!
In this, the "Anti-iPhone Day All-Android-Edtion" (this one is for you Todd!) edition:
- Winners of the Android Developer Challenge announced
- Android SDK features and updates
- The "Android App Store?"
- Android links round-up
Winners of the Android Developer Challenge announced
Just in time for Anti-iPhone Day, Google has announced the winners for the very first Android Developer Challenge. 10 teams were awarded $275,000 and ten were awarded $100,000 for their contributions. Some of the apps that interest me the most are Go Cart which lets you scan a barcode and then compare prices online or at local stores, Locale, which automatically updates your phone settings based on your location, so you have an instant "work" and "home" profile for ringtones and other settings, and TuneWiki, which shows synchronized lyrics or translated lyrics for songs or videos played on your phone.
Congratulations to all the finalists and winners!
[Via Android Developers Blog]
Android SDK features and updates
On August 18, the Android 0.9 SDK beta was released and a development roadmap was created. The API is pretty stable, though this is still a beta, so applications developed with it might need some tweaks to work with 1.0 devices, but it is a great start!
Earlier this week, Google published a blog post detailing some of the changes with API's removed from Android 1.0, and as a result, the 0.9 SDK. The two biggest changes are the removal of GTalkServices and Bluetooth API. The GTalkServices API was removed primarily for security reasons, because the scope of what GTalkServices can offer is too wide and Google didn't think it was fair to put a security burden on developers. The Bluetooth API just won't be ready in time for the launch. Bluetooth devices will work with Android 1.0 phones, but developers will have to wait for the next platform update to write applications that can harness the power of Bluetooth at an API level.
[via Android Developers Blog]
The "Android App Store?"
Google has released some early details on Android Market, open content distribution system for purchasing (or downloading for free) Android applications. Google will host an open service, which they are going at lengths to distinguish as a "marketplace" and not a "store" where users can publish and download applications. There will be a ratings system similar to YouTube, and Google is promising a dashboard of analytical data for developers.
I think marketplace v. store is pretty pedantic semantical distinction, but it is exciting to see that Google has plans for an Android marketplace. It will be interesting to see if YouTube style comments fare any better than iTunes ratings for users. I think they'll continue to hate both. Victor posted his thoughts yesterday.
[via Android Developers Blog]
Android links round-up
Here are some places to go for the latest Android news:
- Android Developers Blog -- we're finally starting to see some frequent updates!
- Android project page -- the official source of the SDK, documentation and discussion groups.
- Boy Genius Reports -- there coverage track-record isn't much better than mine, but as Android development starts to ramp up, look for this to be a big player.
- AndroidGuys -- I've mentioned these guys in the past, and they continue to update and gather the latest scoop on Android-related news and rumors.